The Arab/American Marriage; many years later

My initial ‘Arab/American Marriage‘ post was in August 2012 and I’ve tried to provide an update each year since.

While reading over my original post I realize not a lot has changed other than our geographical location. We move to America in 2013 and haven’t looked back. For the first several months I’m sure I experienced far more culture shock and missed Kuwait much more than my husband did. I looked forward to the visits back and had even continued to remind him we should probably consider moving back one day. Well, that’s no longer the case.

After overcoming my missing of Kuwait (which didn’t take too very long) I genuinely started to embrace life here in America. Probably as much as my husband embraced it from the beginning. We’re both fully committed to being here for the rest of our lives and enjoying our Kuwait visits with family when possible.

At this point I don’t think we have any cultural differences to overcome — we’ve already done that on so many levels. I do still get a giggle when he occasionally mistakes the B for a P and ‘barks the car’. Otherwise, I sometimes forget he wasn’t born and raised here.

Some people have asked if my husband has changed since moving to America. I suppose we both have to some degree. I can say his love for animals, while it always existed, has really intensified. We started a nonprofit together to assist rescue animals abroad and he’s just as dedicated as I am to making a difference. He loves our pets (4 dogs and 2 cats) as if they’re our children and treats them as such. Anytime we’re out shopping together he’ll grab little toys or treats he thinks the pets might enjoy. On the other hand shopping, while one of my favorite things, is not on his list of pleasures.

In many ways I guess we’re simply the boring couple now. We spend weekends doing home improvement projects and weekdays working on business projects. We travel only if it’s convenient for our pets. He hates grocery shopping yet gladly carries all the bags into the house. We have mutual ‘couple’ friends as well as a handful of friends we hang out with independent of one another. I enjoy waking early and going out for coffee, he likes to sleep in and grab a quality brunch later in the day. We watch the same television programs, like the same movies, and have similar taste in music. Yeah, we’re just the typical married couple at this point. Best friends, one another’s biggest fan, and always displaying a mutual respect.

For those who continue to ask for advice regarding their Arab boyfriend/fiance, I would have to say the most important thing is to like one another. Forget about culture, background, religion, etc. Look at that person and ask yourself if you really like them enough to spend the rest of your life with them. If the answer is yes, then everything else is simple stuff. But if you’re with someone and think, “Oh I can change him/her down the road” get out of that relationship. Don’t disrespect yourself or someone else with such immature thoughts. Find someone you share a true common bond with and embrace them for who they are.

My husband and I were very fortunate that we both had a deep understanding of one another’s culture from the beginning. I respected his and he respected mine. There were no games or nonsense which resulted in hurt feelings. We were both honest, up front, dependable, loyal, and real. That’s what makes any marriage a strong one.

7 thoughts on “The Arab/American Marriage; many years later

  1. I swear that I felt I was reading my life when I read your blog entries on your marriage! I am American, a southern belle as well 🙂 Met my husband, born and raised in Kuwait and all his family is Kuwaiti, but his father is Iranian so that make my husband Irani until he got American citizenship. He complains that he is more Kuwaiti than Kuwaitis but law is the law and you are what your father is no matter. Anyway, we met while he was doing his undergrad here in the States, dated 4 years, got married and now have been happily married for 7 years. We live in the States, but go to Kuwait often. I couldn’t help but smile when you described your husband because he seems so similar to mine. I always wanted to tell everyone about our marriage and our personalities because so many American/Arab relationships and marriages fail and here we are, two kids who fell in love, he lets me be me and at times I am waaaaayyy more Arab than he is. His English is better than mine, he corrects me all the time! lol I often have felt compelled to write a book because our lives break all the stereotypes. I mean I came from a Pentecostal Southern Republican background and marry an Arab Muslim, yet it all fit somehow and we grew together in such a beautiful way. If you are anywhere near Tennessee, let me know! There are not many Kuwaitis down here and we would love to meet other couples like us!

    • Hi Suzanne!

      Thank you so much for your kind comment and sharing your story with us. Our situations are so very unique yet we share so much in common. We’re in North Carolina but perhaps we’ll run into one another in Kuwait one day 🙂 How ironic would that be? I’ll definitely let you know if we ever get down near Tennessee and you please let us know if you’re ever up our way. I would absolutely love to meet you.

  2. I read all of your blogs about you marriage and I truly appreciate your insight and willingness to allow us a glimpse into your life. My situation is quite different so sharing my information is merely to add a different perspective. As it stands I am friends with an Arab man from Algeria. Presently he is studying in France and I met him through a language exchange website. It was I who had approached him because I found him to be interesting and funny. I didn’t know anything about his country or Arabs and sadly my information about Muslims were only from what you hear. As I got to know him, I realized how much I had missed by dismissing such a wonderful culture. Through corresponding daily, we realized we have so much in common and we openly admitted we like each other. I cannot say whether anything will come of this because there is an age gap between us. I am older than he is but he doesn’t seem to care about that. The funny thing is I am a Christian through and through and he being Muslim doesn’t bother me at all. I struggle with the age difference more than anything else. If nothing comes from this, at least it has opened my eyes to embracing a culture, belief system, and country that I didn’t really think about. I have learned so much from him and I hope he has learned something from me. I should mention that I am a black American and that I plan to visit him in France in early spring. A family member will be accompanying me on this trip. Once again thank you so much for giving us a glimpse of your life with your husband. Many blessings to you both.

    • Hi Pauline. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m glad you’re learning about another culture and viewing things from a different perspective. Please do keep us updated on what happens.

  3. Thank you so much for responding back to me. I will give an update to let you know how things are going. We are still friends and it continues to be a learning experience. I do appreciate his friendship and kindness . He too appreciates my friendship as well.

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